11The Sacrifice of the Old Covenant

The paintings above the two large altars on the right and the left transepts are painted-religious-instructions on the saving work of God; Antonio Maria Viani painted them in 1588/89. On the top of the right picture the Triune God, Father, Son and the Spirit in the shape of a fluttering dove, surrounded by the choirs of angels. An altar with sacrificial implements is placed below, next to it Aaron in the garb of the High Priest and Moses with the tablets of the law. Behind Aaron, King David, Abraham, Solomon and Judith can be seen, and behind Moses, Noah and Joshua. On the rise behind the altar lies Abel, killed by his brother Cain. In the middle of the painting, a tree is indicated around which a snake has coiled itself. The people mentioned above wanted to offer God a sacrifice, but the scent of the sacrifice does not rise up to God. So the altar tells, according to the theology of that time, through the stories of the Old Testament, how mankind by his arrogance and murderous violence interferes with his relationship with God, and cannot restore it by its own efforts, through sacrifice and good works.
The two round paintings in the transept represent holy Jesuits. Aloysius Gonzaga joined the Jesuits in 1585. While taking care of the sick he got infected and died in 1591. He is regarded as the patron of young students. In Nagasaki, Japan, 26 Christians, including three Jesuits, were crucified in 1597.